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Published: Mon, March 06, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Duke Clips Miami, Advances To ACC Finals

Duke Clips Miami, Advances To ACC Finals

In the biggest rivalry in all of college basketball, the Duke Blue Devils will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday.

Battling it out for final seeding placements, the 23-7 Duke Blue Devils will head to Chapel Hill to battle the 25-6, North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tar Heels, despite their no. 5 ranking, are still regarded by many analysts as the best team in the country, and a sweep of the ACC regular-season champs would be a boon for Duke's resume in trying to garner a higher seed. The Tar Heels will open the ACC tournament on Thursday at noon against the victor of Wednesday's second-round game between No 8 seed Syracuse and No. 9 Miami.

After UNC led 48-46 at halftime, the teams continued to exchanged the lead in a tight game over the first 10 minutes of the second half as neither team led by more than three points. With the score tied at 10 in the final quarter, he scored three times in the final minutes to ensure a Scarlet Knights victory. A simple sprinting drill - a run to half court and back - turned into "The Great Race" between Rebecca Greenwell and Lexie Brown.

It was Jackson's decision on the next trip down that ensured there wouldn't be another, electing to fire a pass to Hicks rather than take his chances in a crowd of Duke defenders.

After the opening tip the Orange never let up and never gave up the lead. The last UNC basketball game he watched in person came last April in Houston, where the Heels lost in the NCAA championship game.

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White had a career-high eight 3-pointers, missing only once from long range.

Berry's jump shot at 2:16 pushed UNC's lead to 83-79. Grayson Allen simply hasn't been the same since he reinjured his ankle against Syracuse and was forced to sit out in Duke's loss against Miami. As a team, Duke is scoring 80.4 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field, 37.5% from behind the arc and 75.2% from the foul line this season.

Despite that and Berry's first-half heroics, Duke managed to keep things close, and Kennard was the biggest factor. Justin Jackson hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than six minutes to play and assisted on Isaiah Hicks' three-point play on the next possession for a 77-71 lead. His free throw gave Duke its largest lead of the half.

Berry, known for taking losses personally and attacking individual matchups with a thirst for blood, was out for revenge after a 15-point effort in the loss to Duke last month, in which he missed a few good looks and the Tar Heels' offense bogged down. Allen then missed two free throws, and Berry responded by beating Kennard and Allen toward the baseline with a floater, quickly putting UNC up by six with 1:42 left.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie lauds her players for being very much in the moment, but they are also conscious of this program's legacy in the ACC and what another conference title would represent.

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